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#nowsmoking: San Cristobal Quintessence Corona Gorda
Factory: My Father – Estelí, Nicaragua (for Ashton Cigars)
Size: 5 5/8” x 46
Wrapper: Habano (Ecuador)
Binder & Filler: Garcia Family estate-grown Nicaraguan
Construction: Seamlessly rolled in a milk-chocolate-colored wrapper with a matte patina.
Dominant Flavors: Earth, black pepper, coffee bean, cedar, molasses.
Balance: Very good. Although the flavors change gears at various intervals, they are well-defined.
Where it’s at: Earthy notes and black pepper on the finish open this elegant-looking cigar. Although some pepper remains on the finish, the cigar quickly segues to notes of coffee bean flanked by cedar and a hint of molasses.
In the past, I’ve smoked the Quintessence in the 50 and higher ring gauges, but I also like this cigar’s dimensions. With its 46 ring, it demonstrates how much more wrapper flavor you get in a slimmer shape. That’s why I’m getting more pepper from this cigar than in previous sessions. Although I’m not a fan of peppery cigars, there was enough sweetness in this Corona Gorda to keep me happy, and that speaks to the excellent balance in this cigar, as well.
This Quintessence also burns evenly, but it does so a little faster. I would’ve liked the draw to be just a little bit tighter, too, yet, a good volume of smoke flows easily from both ends. As to the ash, it’s a little flaky when tapped, but forms a nice shape while lit.
By the midsection, more coffee and molasses leak through, but the earthier elements tend to dominate. This is even more evident in the final third, making this cigar a rich-tasting brew of earth, wood, and peppery spices.
No doubt, a very refined smoke for lovers of bold Nicaraguan blends and spicy Habano wrappers. Although it begins relatively medium in body and strength, this Corona Gorda transitions to full-body mode in the second half.
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